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City council approves budget for FY2015

The budget adopted for FY2015 includes a 2 percent for permanent city employees, funding for CAT TV, and a reduced number of trashbag vouchers.

The Columbia City Council voted unanimously last night to adopt the city manager’s budget for fiscal year 2015. The budget includes almost $429 million in spending and projects $399 million dollars in revenues.

Calling 2015 a “watershed year,” city manager Mike Matthes said the budget reflects the city moving forward from the recent economic recession. Included in the budget are an increase in the number of full time city employees, a two percent pay increase for permanent employees, and an increase in sewer connection fees for new development.

The council also approved several amendments to the budget including an increase in parking enforcement hours and fees, funding for CAT TV, an increase in electric utility rates, and a decrease in the number of trash bags provided to residents from three vouchers of 25 to two.

Not included in the budget are five potential ballot initiatives that could also impact the city’s finances. Two of those initiatives —a property tax increase to fund additional staff and equipment for the police and fire departments, and a development fee to fund new road construction—have already been approved by the council for voter consideration in November.

The city’s fiscal year begins October 1st.

A curious Columbia, Mo. native, Bram Sable-Smith has documented mbira musicians in Zimbabwe, mining protests in Chile, and the St. Louis airport's tumultuous relationship with the Chinese cargo business. His reporting from Ferguson, Mo. was part of a KBIA documentary honored by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He comes to KBIA most recently from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.
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